A high-resolution genotype–phenotype map identifies the TaSPL17 controlling grain number and size in wheat

作  者:Liu YY#, Chen J#, Yin CB#, Wang ZY, Wu H, Shen KC, Zhang ZL, Kang LP, Xu S, Bi AY, Zhao XB, Xu DX, He ZH, Zhang XY, Hao CY, Wu JH, Gong Y, Yu XC, Sun ZW, Ye BT, Liu DN, Zhang LL, Shen LP, Hao YF*, Ma YZ*, Lu F*, Guo ZF*
刊物名称:Genome Biology
卷:24  期:1  页码:196



Large-scale genotype–phenotype association studies of crop germplasm are important for identifying alleles associated with favorable traits. The limited number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in most wheat genome-wide association studies (GWASs) restricts their power to detect marker-trait associations. Additionally, only a few genes regulating grain number per spikelet have been reported due to sensitivity of this trait to variable environments.


We perform a large-scale GWAS using approximately 40 million filtered SNPs for 27 spike morphology traits. We detect 132,086 significant marker-trait associations and the associated SNP markers are located within 590 associated peaks. We detect additional and stronger peaks by dividing spike morphology into sub-traits relative to GWAS results of spike morphology traits. We propose that the genetic dissection of spike morphology is a powerful strategy to detect signals for grain yield traits in wheat. The GWAS results reveal that TaSPL17 positively controls grain size and number by regulating spikelet and floret meristem development, which in turn leads to enhanced grain yield per plant. The haplotypes at TaSPL17 indicate geographical differentiation, domestication effects, and breeding selection.


Our study provides valuable resources for genetic improvement of spike morphology and a fast-forward genetic solution for candidate gene detection and cloning in wheat.